By John Egbokhan, Abuja
FIFA Vice-President, Jack Warner, has said that he would be surprised if Nigeriaâ€™s Golden Eaglets do not get to the quarter-final stage of the on-going U-17 World Cup.
The Eaglets are yet to cross second round hurdle but the bigwigs of football administration, have already set high standards for the defending champions of the competition.
Their next match is against New Zealand on Thursday at the Abuja National Stadium.
First to sound out this tough stance, was the Vice-President of FIFA, Jack Warner, who observed that the Eaglets have improved with each game that they have so far played in the tournament, adding that they have shown that they have strong character, to overcome whatever obstacle lies in their path to attaining victory.
â€œI have been around for years and I have seen the quality of teams presented by nations in this tournament and what I have seen of this present Nigerian team is of high quality. These boys are determined to prevail over any opposition and they do not throw in the towel when in trouble.
â€œIn fact, it would be a disastrous thing if this team do not reach the semi-final stage because they have quality players in their line-upâ€, added Warner, who hopes that fans would complement the teamâ€™s progress by jam-packing the Abuja National Stadium on Thursday when they face New Zealand.
Also speaking, the President of the NFF, Sani Lulu, said that he was confident that the Eaglets would go far in the competition.
â€œI am not their coach but I know that they have resolved to do this nation proud and anything short of that is not desired. The boys are getting better every day but we want fans to come out and cheer them to victoryâ€, said the NFF boss.
President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Sani Lulu has said that the Green Eagles have equal chances like Tunisia , of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa .With the race for the sole qualifying ticket from Group A set to go to the wire on the last day of matches on November 14, with the Eagles playing the Harambee Stars of Kenya in Nairobi while Tunisia travel to Maputo to face the wrath of Mozambique, the Nigerians are in dire need of a victory to stand any realistic chance of reaching the Mundial as the Tunisians hold a two_point lead on the log.